Irish Physicists honoured with IOP Awards

8 October 2012

Two physicists, one north and one south of the Irish border, were honoured at the Institute of Physics annual awards event in London on Wednesday 3 October which also featured well-known physicist and science communicator, Brian Cox, giving the key-note address.

Prof Colin O'Dowd receiving his award from Sir Peter Knight, President of the IOP
Prof Colin O'Dowd receiving his award from Sir Peter Knight, President of the IOP

Professor Colin O’Dowd of NUI Galway received the 2012 Appleton medal and prize for his outstanding contributions to research in atmospheric aerosol-cloud-climate interactions, and particularly in the formation and transformation of aerosols from natural systems. 

His research is used extensively to improve climate and air pollution prediction models. His work drives large scale multi-disciplinary projects incorporating physics, chemistry and biology to address key aspects of processes that underpin Earth system research. 

In particular it has led to significant advances in our understanding of aerosol formation, transformation and climate effects. His work has centred on aerosol formation from geophysical and biogenic systems, particularly in marine and forest environments.

Prof Colin Latimer receiving his award from Sir Peter Knight, President of the IOP
Prof Colin Latimer receiving his award from Sir Peter Knight, President of the IOP

Professor Colin Latimer of Queen’s University Belfast was presented with the Phillips award in recognition of his outstanding service to the Institute of Physics. 

He has been Professor of Physics at the Queen's University of Belfast since 1997 and has also held appointments at Rice University, Houston, Texas and Tokyo Metropolitan University. His research interests lie in the area of atomic and molecular processes and interactions. 

Prof Latimer has served in many roles with the Institute including, Treasurer of the Institute of Physics , member of its governing council as well as chair  of the Atomic and Molecular Interaction Group, the Institute of Physics in Ireland (1980–89) and the Division of Atomic, Molecular, Optical and Plasma Physics (DAMOPP) (1999–2005).

He has been a member of IOP Publishing’s board and the management board of the New Journal of Physics, and is honorary editor of the Journal of Physics B. Prof. Latimer has contributed not just a huge amount of time to the IOP, but also flexible thinking and a range of creative ideas that have improved the IOP’s activities and its role in the physics community.